A snub from the national airwaves further proves victory will be the best medicine for the New York Jets’ woes
Any debate over whether football stands as America’s new national pastime should cease upon the annual release of the NFL’s regular season schedule.
Unveiled in the thick of the NBA and NHL’s respective postseasons, the mere attachment of times and dates to matchups that were known months (some even years) in advance brings about a deluge of analysis and predictions that frankly could’ve started the second the clock hit triple zeroes at the Super Bowl.
However, unlike the other offseason happenings that have expanded ridiculous proportions (i.e. the entire draft process), schedule release day does nothing to improve or worsen a team’s fortunes.
It’s not like, say, the New York Jets will get rewarded for a stellar offseason with extra matchups against the league’s reigning cellar-dwellers from Jacksonville (they still only have one, scheduled for Dec. 22). They can accumulate all the first-round picks they want; nothing’s going to take the quadrilogy against the Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots off the slate.
But no one needs to tell you that this has been a different offseason for the Jets, one that has the potential to start changing the definition of the franchise. So even the inconsequential, if not savagely hyped, schedule release had a yield in the Jets’ case: the powers that be gave them something further to play for.
Mere personal pride should be enough for the Jets to embark on self-improvement. The 11-year playoff drought is egregiously dire, even by Gang Green’s star-crossed standards, and that should be motivation enough for this offseason, which somehow might’ve gone a little too well.
There’s no denying, however, that it would’ve been nice to have that progress vindicated and verified by a source beyond Florham Park, namely the league itself. The schedule’s release is the day, and likely the only one, to earn such official vindication, the currency in question being appearances in the exclusive Sunday, Monday, or Thursday night windows.
But with all the improvements the Jets have made and boasting one of the youngest and most social media-friendly starting quarterbacks in football, the Jets were afforded only a single occasion where their game will be the lone source of NFL activity, and that single contest (the aforementioned visit from the Jaguars) won’t be available to fans outside of the tri-state area unless Amazon Prime is in their streaming arsenal thanks to a new deal that takes Thursday night games off traditional airwaves.
— Jets Videos (@snyjets) May 13, 2022
One would think the mere connection to the New York market…or even the potential to create more memes at the team’s expense (two of their most Monday night appearances led to the “OUT INDEFINITELY” and “I’m seeing ghosts” crazes)…would give the Jets some national time.
But their fans are left “Waiting All Day For Sunday Night” for the 11th consecutive season. To put that in perspective, Jets fans have never had a pregame serenade from Carrie Underwood, as the lauded singer took over the Peacock network’s football theme two years after their last appearance in 2011 (one year if you count the infamous “Butt Fumble” game that was broadcasted by NBC on Thanksgiving 2012).
Frankly, though, the lack of national recognition is one extra source of incentive and stimulus the Jets can use. It’s another way of letting the Jets know that there’s no time like the present when it comes to reentering professional relevancy. It’s easy for a fan or player to be seduced by the Jets’ offseason. Such seduction could lead to a sense of complacency and settlement. That’s the last thing the Jets, a team bamboozled by false prophets, need.
Bulletin board material from, say, Buffalo, Miami, or New England is one thing. When it comes from the NFL itself? That could a whole new story entirely.
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags